Deepak Shrikant

Paper and Presentation: The Use of Knowledge in Planning Projects

Abstract: In the Nuclear Power Industry a culture of sharing historical experience is mandated which helps avoid the pitfalls experienced by others. If logic were a guide, the rigor, the discipline, the sharing of experience and learning from mistakes should all lead to better planning. This does not hold true in the marketplace, a constantly evolving entity with new concerns, new knowledge and new technologies. The problem is one of knowing what knowledge is needed and how to acquire it from the marketplace.

Friedrich August von Hayek (1945) postulates that in the marketplace, people—through the facilities of communication available to them—come to resolution of concerns and issues with the formation of a rational order which ensures the best use of available knowledge in society. This paper explains how Hayek’s discourse on the use of knowledge in society is tied to the planning and execution of projects and lays out an approach to the creation of a rational order through story-boarding. This paper presents how story-boarding can capture the very essence of Hayek’s inquiry into how planning is conducted and how different kinds of knowledge, habits of thought and the use of the facilities of communication within the marketplace influence the creation of a rational order. It provides an insight into the influencing elements as well as Hayek’s key contribution, the price system. The price system helps solve problems in the marketplace through actions by ordinary people driven by Habits of Thought and at times by the Man on the Spot endowed with special knowledge of situations and circumstances. The paper points to examples of success and failures in projects and to work by other scholars who have contributed to the management of knowledge in the Industry as it lays the groundwork for Story-boarding.

PMI Talent Triangle: Technical Project Management

Biography: Mr. Shrikant has served in the Nuclear Power Plant Industry for over thirty five years and is currently a Senior Project Manager responsible for large Capital Projects at Exelon Nuclear Generation Company. He was previously the Director of Major Projects at Invensys/Schneider Electric where he was responsible for the delivery of large projects in China, Korea, Canada and the US. In his professional career he has held responsible positions in Corporate Governance, Program and Project Management, Engineering& Construction Management, Business Development, Risk Management and Revenue Stream/Cost Management of Capital Projects. His focus over the last ten years has been on planning large and complex endeavors and developing knowledge-centric approaches to planning.